Met Éireann has expanded a red weather warning to three counties, after warning Storm Barra is turning into a “weather bomb” and poses “a danger to life”.
The atmospheric pressure which creates the storm energy is twice that anticipated, hence the term “weather bomb”, head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack said according to The Irish Times.
Supermarkets and a Covid-19 vaccine centre have announced they will shut ahead of the impending storm, while hospital appointments and flights have also been cancelled.
At lunchtime on Monday, Met Éireann upgraded a wind warning for Kerry and Cork to status red – the forecaster’s highest level of alert – with Clare later added to the upgraded warning.
Limerick and Galway are also expected to be raised to a status red warning, a Garda statement said on Monday evening.
People in these counties are advised to shelter in place for the duration of the warning, which will take effect from 6am to 9pm on Tuesday.
A red wind warning means consistent wind speeds in excess of 80 kilometres per hour and gusts in excess of 130 kilometres per hour. Conditions are regarded as life-threatening for those who venture outdoors.
A red wind warning is now in place for #Clare from tomorrow afternoon until midnight on Wednesday.
⚠️Red, Orange and Yellow warnings in place elsewhere.
Follow local safety adviceℹ️ https://t.co/XGJxZFd5UU pic.twitter.com/wh2tfSQd8k
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) December 6, 2021
Ms Cusack said Storm Barra could cause a lot of structural damage around the country, bringing with it a risk of “multiple hazards”, including storm surges, spot flooding and snow.
Local authorities and emergency services are preparing for the “significant and severe weather event” which will start early on Tuesday morning.
An orange wind warning is in place for many western counties and some eastern counties, forecasting damaging gusts of up to 130 kilometres per hour and warning that disruption to both power and travel is likely.
A yellow rain warning is also in place nationwide from 2pm on Tuesday to 6pm on Wednesday, as the strong winds from Storm Barra are accompanied by heavy rain, along with the possibility of snow and sleet on high ground in the west of Ireland.
- Orange wind warning Tuesday 6am to Wednesday 6am: Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Mayo and Wexford.
- Orange wind warning Tuesday 8am to Tuesday 1pm: Dublin, Louth, Wicklow and East Meath.
Dangerous conditions are also expected at sea with marine warnings in place along all Irish coasts, including a red marine warning for southwestern sea areas.
There is a significant possibility of flooding in all coastal areas, including Dublin.
Cork City Council has warned that there is a risk of tidal flooding in the city centre tomorrow morning around 7.30am, as the strongest winds coincide with the morning high tide. Lapps Quay, McSwiney Quay, Albert Quay, Kennedy Quay, Proby’s Qua, French’s Quay, Lancaster Quay, Sullivan’s Quay, South Mall, Oliver Plunkett Street and Lower Glanmire Road are all at risk of flooding.
The National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG), chaired by the Minister for Housing and Local Government Darragh O’Brien, met on Monday afternoon with the storm due to make landfall on Tuesday morning.
Director of emergency management Keith Leonard said conditions “will be very dangerous around the west and east coasts”, and people should avoid coastal areas right into Wednesday.
“This is an extended storm event and is quite unusual,” he said. Sandbags and temporary coastal defences have been erected.
The Irish Coast Guard, Road Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána and local authorities have issued the following public safety advice:
- Stay away from all coastal areas for the duration of the Met Éireann warnings.
- All road users should be aware of the hazardous travelling conditions, and only necessary journeys should be undertaken. Motorists should slow down and be aware of the dangers of fallen trees and debris. High sided vehicles are particularly vulnerable during this time.
- As conditions will vary throughout the event, people need to take account of the local conditions and advice from their local authority.
- The public are warned electricity wires are always live, never approach. If you see fallen or damaged wires, keep clear and phone ESB Networks immediately on 1800 372 999/021 238 2410.
- Should red level weather warnings be issued, the public are advised to shelter in place for the duration of the warning.
More to follow...